Paxton Media Group has purchased the Wilkes Journal-Patriot newspaper in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina from Carter-Hubbard Publishing Co., according to Randy Cope, Cribb, Greene & Cope, who represented the Hubbard family in their sale.
Dale Morefield, publisher of The Enquirer-Journal in Monroe since 2015, has taken on the additional duties of publisher of the Wilkes Journal Patriot with the sale. The Wilkes Journal-Patriot joined The Enquirer-Journal in Paxton Media Group’s N.C./Tenn./Georgia division.
Morefield said he is deeply excited about the future of the paper and its lengthy tradition of producing strong journalism and being invested in the community.
“The paper has deep roots here, and we are looking forward to continuing the work the Journal-Patriot has done so well over the years of being a community watchdog and partner,” Morefield said.
Paxton Media Group, based in Paducah, Ky., owns more than 30 daily newspapers and several dozen weekly newspapers in the South and Midwest. They include the High Point Enterprise and the News-Topic in Lenoir.
The Wilkes Journal-Patriot will continue to publish Wednesdays and update its website throughout the week with developing news.
A statement released by the Hubbard family, which owned Carter-Hubbard Publishing Co., said the family was pleased to transfer ownership of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot to a family-owned company with the ability and commitment to maintain it as a strong community newspaper. The statement said this is especially important considering that a growing number of communities are finding themselves without a newspaper.
In the statement, the former owners said they are confident that Paxton Media will continue to provide a high-quality newspaper in Wilkes County.
Julius C. “Jule” Hubbard, editor of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot and one of the former owners, remains with the Wilkes Journal-Patriot as an employee of Paxton.
Julius C. Hubbard and Daniel J. Carter established Carter-Hubbard Publishing Co. in North Wilkesboro in 1932. They started The Journal-Patriot that same year by purchasing the Wilkes Patriot (established in 1906) and combining it with the Wilkes Journal, which Hubbard owned. Hubbard later acquired full ownership and it remained in the Hubbard family until Monday.
Randy Cope of Cribb, Greene & Cope represented the Hubbard family in their sale. Cribb, Greene & Cope is a leading merger and acquisition firm with offices in Arkansas, Montana, and California.